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Getting the Most Out of Industry 4.0 Investments with Wireless Power

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As Industry 4.0 gains momentum, many companies are expanding their use of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G connectivity, sensors, and robotics. A 2020 Deloitte study found that organizations with comprehensive Industry 4.0 strategies significantly outperform those with no or disjointed strategies.

Around 90% of organizations with comprehensive Industry 4.0 strategies saw at least 5% annual revenue growth in the most recent year.

Mckinsey & Company analysts note that comprehensive Industry 4.0 strategies can lead to 30-50% reductions in machine downtime, 10-30% increases in throughput, 15-30% improvements in labor productivity, and 85% more accurate forecasting with digitally enabled factories.

The limitations of cords and batteries

Many Industry 4.0 technologies today rely on complex, expensive, limiting, and sometimes hazardous cabling and connector solutions. For instance, Cobots and autonomous mobile robots and vehicles (AMRs & AMVs) are typically powered by high-efficiency batteries or route wires and power cords.

Over 60% of industrial IoT (IIoT) setup costs are spent on cabling and installation. Continuous battery recharging or replacement can lead to significant opportunity costs. A device losing power can disrupt productivity for the entire plant. Additionally, identifying and replacing dead batteries in a manufacturing facility is a logistical nightmare.

There are safety concerns as well, as damaged lithium-ion batteries pose a fire risk. In industrial environments, wires and exposed sockets are also hazardous. Industry 4.0 technologies require adequate power and the ability to quickly and seamlessly transfer data at all times, a capability that batteries do not provide.

Automation demands wireless freedom

With the rise of factory automation, the need for machines that require significant amounts of power and data transfer presents a challenge. Wireless power has evolved to provide both contactless power and data transfer, ideal for Industry 4.0 technologies that demand autonomy and reliability.

Industrial robots and drones should be able to complete tasks autonomously and recharge quickly. Advanced wireless charging technology simplifies the docking process, allowing robots to roll up to a wireless charging mat and recharge, and even charge “on the go” during different operational points. This innovation eliminates the need for human interference and allows staff to focus on higher priority tasks.

Battery Management & Device Safety

Wireless power enables greater control over the battery, optimizing and monitoring the charging process to prolong battery life and avoid costly replacements. It eliminates hazards associated with conventional galvanized connections, allowing for safer operations in dynamic or outdoor environments.

Furthermore, wireless power technology is now capable of working in adverse conditions, ensuring safety and efficiency even in challenging environments.

Quickly, Cost-effectively enhancing 5G connectivity

5G, essential for smart factories, offers higher reliability, security controls, and reduced latency for effective communication among IoT technologies. Wireless power technology can self-install 5G repeaters to increase the effectiveness and reliability of 5G network coverage across the facility, overcoming construction limitations and volatile environmental factors.

Wireless power technology has advanced to achieve higher power levels, self-calibrate over distance, and adapt to different surfaces, facilitating the quick and cost-effective installation of connected devices.

Go forth and manufacture with maximum ROI

Industry 4.0 strategies and technologies are critical for manufacturers to remain competitive. To fully benefit from Industry 4.0 investments, advanced wireless power technology is essential. With the wireless power market projected to reach over $180 billion by 2030, wireless power and charging solutions are key enablers for the successful implementation of Industry 4.0 strategies and the factories of the future.

Image Credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi; Pexels; Thank you!

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